Retiring Revenue Commissioner, Goree, presents final report to County Commission

The Greene County Commission met in regular session Monday, June 11, 2018 and approved the year-end report from outgoing Revenue Commissioner, Brenda Goree. Goree stated that the document pointed out some minor errors in her operations and appropriate adjustments would be made. She also noted that this would be her last year-end report to the commission, since she is leaving office by the end of June. Barbara McShan will assume the position on July 1, serving the remainder of Goree’s term, which expires in 2020. Goree requested her retirement in 2017 and it will go into effect on June 30.
In other business the commission acted on the following:
*Approved a contract with Alabama Department of Transportation for preliminary engineering for bridge replacement on County Road 69 over McConnico Creek, with ALDOT paying 80% and the county paying 20% of the cost.
* Approved ABC License for Green Track Side Plaza (Chevron Service Station).
* Approved the placement of two high school interns for the summer. Commissioner Cory Cockrell proposed this arrangement at the commission’s work session, wherein he will pay the students through Next Level Leaders non-profit organization.
* Approved hiring one part-time bus driver for the Eutaw Nutrition Site.
* Approved Blue Cross Blue Shield contract for 2018-2019.
* Approved request from Society of Folk Arts & Culture for access to the courthouse restrooms for the 2018 Black Belt Folk Roots Festival.
* Approved resolution to add lodging tax collection to services of RDS, which is the Revenue Discover System that collects various taxes for the county, including sales and use, and beer and tobacco taxes.
*Approved the clean-up and re-purposing of the Montgomery Recreational Center in the Knoxville Community.
*Approved staff travel to various workshops and training.
*Approved payment of claims and budget amendments presented by the county’s CFO, Paula Bird.
Bank balances as of May 18, 2018, reported by Ms. Bird included the following: Citizen Trust Bank – $2,787,828.27; Merchant & Farmers Bank – $2,616,703.76; Bank of New York – $918,088.04; CD Bond Sinking Fund – $805,753.35

County will sell surplus land to WestRock; addresses redistricting in Greene County

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Greene County Commission shown with two new vehicles for the County Highway Department. The vehicles are two 2018 F150 Crew Cabs 4×4 at purchase price of $28,650 each. Shown L to R: Commissioners Michael Williams, Tennyson Smith, Allen Turner, Jr.,and Lester Brown; County Engineer Willie Branch and Assistant Engineer John Ensley.

At its regular meeting held Jan. 8, 2018, the Greene County Commission agreed to sell a portion of surplus land to WestRock box plant in Eutaw. The commission is asking $30.000 for approximately 2.7 acres of land adjacent to the current WestRock property on Finches Ferry Road in Eutaw.
In an original plan, the County Commission deeded that parcel of land to the Greene County Industrial Board with the understanding that the IDA would lease the property to West Rock. Subsequently, West Rock determined that it was interested in purchasing same property to accommodate its expansion plans. The county’s plan to sell the property to West Rock will proceed once the IDA transfers the deed back to the county.
The commission voted to approve the County Registrars duties regarding the state’s redistricting and voter reassignment process for areas and voters affected by the new state legislative district lines. District lines are redrawn every 10 years following completion of the United States Census. The Alabama State Legislature is responsible for drawing both congressional and state legislative district lines.
On May 24, 2012, the Republican-controlled legislature approved state legislative redistricting maps. Maps for both chambers were passed during a special session. It next went to Gov. Robert Bentley (R) for his signature, then to the U.S. Department of Justice for preclearance. The Justice Department cleared the state legislative maps on October 5, 2012. Various statewide organizations challenged the state’s redistricting lines up to the U.S. Supreme Court, but were unsuccessful.
According to the current legislative map, Greene County will fall in two State House Districts: D 71, Northwestern part of the county, (Rep. Artis McCampbell) and D 72, all other areas of the county (Rep. Ralph Howard). Greene County falls in only one State Senate District, D 24 (Senator Bobby Singleton).
Alabama’s House of Representatives is made up of 105 districts; Alabama’s State Senate is made up of 35 districts.
In other business the commission approved the following:
* Filling two employee positions in the Highway Department
* Accepting the resignation of one equipment operator and authorizing advertising to fill the position of Equipment operator.
* Travel request for employees as specified.
The Commission approved the various Committee Chair appointments as follows:
* Finance and Public Safety, Commissioner Tennyson Smith.
* Public Works and Health, Commissioner Michael Williams.
* Education and Social Concerns, Commissioner Lester Brown.
* Jobs and Industries, Commissioner Allen Turner, Jr.
* Personnel, Commissioner Corey Cockrell.
CFO, Paula Bird provided the following financial summaries as of December 17, 2017.
Total funds in Citizen Trust Bank was $2,476,161.54; total funds in Merchants & Farmers Bank was $1,961,067.02. Bond investments totaled $800,989.79, Bank of New holds $358,718.17

Commission names John Robert Isley II as Assistant County Engineer

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The Greene County Commission held a work session on Wednesday, January 4 and its regular meeting on Monday, January 9, 2017.
The Commission appointed John Robert Isley II to the position of Assistant County Engineer to assist Willie Branch, County Engineer. Isley is a native of Springfield, Ohio who attended Alabama A&M University in Normal, Alabama and graduated in 2007 with a B. S. degree in Civil Engineering from A&M.
Isley has eight years experience with private engineering firms including Civil Solutions LLC of Huntsville (now Goodwin, Mills and Caywood), Geo Solutions, LLC and Babbs Engineering Consultants, LLC.
“Greene County is the first public organization that I have worked with but I bring a skill set with similar projects in the private sector,” said Isley. He is not married and plans to live in Greene County.
“ I went to Alabama A & M because I wanted to go to an HBCU which had all the engineering classes that I needed. It was a good choice for me and I urge young people who are interested in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to study hard and you can achieve any goal you set for yourself. Be patient and ask questions, people will help you learn, develop and grow on the job, “said Isley.”
Paula Bird, Chief Financial Officer gave the Commission a financial updated report for the first quarter of the 2016-17 fiscal year from October 1 to December 31, 2016. The Commission had $4.3 million in all bank accounts, plus $681,728 in bond sinking funds and an additional $390,094 and $86,031 in other bond servicing funds. The expenditures are within the 25% range, which is on target with the quarterly budget requirements.
In the General Fund, which covers salaries and expenses for most basic county services, $803,338 (26%) of the $3,143, 228 budget has been expended to December 31, 2016. The Commission approved $445,897 to pay all bills and claims for last month.

The Commission has received bids on the lighting project for the inside and outside of the Eutaw Activity Center. The bids are being evaluated for several factors and no action was taken at this meeting on this project, which is funded by grants.
Willie Branch, County Engineer reported that the solid waste exemption period has ended for persons on fixed incomes to apply for garbage stickers. Garbage will not be picked up unless the garbage can has the appropriate sticker, which has a number that has been assigned by the Solid Waste Department. Stickers are not available from the garbage truck operators but are issued only at the Greene County Engineers office.
Phillis Belcher, Executive Director of the Greene County Industrial Development Authority reported on an anticipated expansion of the WestRock box manufacturing plant in the Eutaw Industrial Park, which is expected to begin in the next six months. She will return to report on more of the details when they are available for action by the Commission.
The Commission requested and heard a report on the work of the Community Services Program of West Alabama which offers services to low income people in the Greene County community including help with utility bills, weatherization of homes, food pantry, Headstart and other programs. The Commission urged CSP of West Alabama to do more outreach and contact new people about its services instead of cycling the same people through each time. Latonji Hamilton who made the presentation for CSP promised to do a better job in the future.
The Commission approved travel for the County Engineer and Assistant County Engineer to attend training and regional meetings.
Probate Judge Judy Spree presented a resolution at the work session from the Alpha Epsilon Iota chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Shelton State Community College concerning an honors project for Greene County officials to symbolically reaffirm their oath of office and maintain ethical standards of operation. The Commission at the regular meeting tabled the resolution.